Stephen, I have not seen the data but from what it seems you are saying that if you look over multiple generations you can see correlation of people who had PTSD or drug exposure and later generations being violent. Then you suggest this might have epigeneticly programmed in subsequent generations of such people. Certainly worth looking into if there is data to support it.
A big thing I think is living in inner cities everybody is exposed to more violence and cops are all around asking people all the time. The chances of any person being caught in some kind of criminal justice thing is much higher than being in the countryside and unfortunately that is of necessity since so many crimes happen in inner cities.
Once you are caught up in the criminal justice system your life is effectively over. You aren’t getting a $100k a year job and buying a nice house and living an easy life. By living in these communities lots of black people inevitably get drawn one way or another into the criminal justice system and then your life is irreparably damaged in almost every case.
It is a problem that so many americans are in prison. It is costly but it is also important that we get people into prison who are criminals. I remember a statistic that only one in 19 felonies nationwide result in a conviction meaning that from a crime committed to the investigation, finding a suspect, court and jury and all only 5% actually go all the way successfully. This means that by the time a conviction occurs someone could have committed 19 felonies. This means a good chance someone caught has committed many other felonies and never been caught.
This is why the 3 strikes law worked so well. By the time someone has committed 3 convictions of felonies it is likely they committed up to 57 felonies really, maybe less but probably someone actually convicted of 3 felonies has committed a huge number. By taking them out we drastically cut the number of crimes because of this clear high repeat crime rate.
This is difficult problem no matter what or how we look at it but to me we should do everything we can to put actual violent felons behind jail but we should also try to minimize the number of people we put in jail for other reasons or even get into the criminal justice system because even one conviction basically destroys their life.